Tuesday, June 07, 2011

THE REDEEMED CAPTIVE. Last week, while he was hard on Weiner Watch, I asked Lee Stranahan on Twitter what he meant when he said he was a liberal. After all, these days when he's not parsing penis pictures he mainly works on Breitbart's Pigford/Shirley Sherrod jihad. He got pissy:

But now, because of Weinergate he is, as they say, outraged at Chappaquiddick:

I teased him about that, got this response:

Before someone starts yelling about Marching in Lockstep and Thought Police, let me say that I'm in no position to enforce anyone's orthodoxy, and am somewhat unorthodox myself. But Stranahan's behavior would baffle any neutral observer. He's in favor of all those liberal things, but because Anthony Weiner got caught sexting, Stranahan doesn't want to be a liberal anymore (except for purposes of market differentiation)? Also, he works with Breitbart, who repeatedly describes liberalism as a near equivalent to Satanism; does Stranahan think that after he's helped Breitbart take down some more liberals with penis pics, Breitbart will help him get Single Payer?

But there's really no point in asking these questions. This kind of redemption narrative works fairly reliably. Take a walk down memory lane to see this 2003 summoning of the pro-Bush liberals (scroll down to July 22) -- Michael Totten, Roger L. Simon, Gerard Van Der Leun [!], et alia. With a few exceptions, none of these guys are even pretending anymore. And I will tell you right now that the chances that we'll see Stranahan working to take down opponents of gay marriage the way he's worked to take down Weiner are very, very thin.

I guess there's a call for this sort of thing. Some people think it's great that David Brock was a big wingnut before his conversion, and some even trust Andrew Sullivan's mood-swing toward the left. Maybe such people see converts as living testimony to the power of their cause. But this is America, and these are operatives; maybe they're not responding so much to the tug of conscience as to a market opportunity.

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